Should You Recruit Via Promotion or Externally?

Published on 28/04/2021

Everyone knows that recruitment drives aren’t a huge amount of fun.

When someone leaves their role, a decision has to be made as to whether re-recruit or whether to somehow cover the workload in another way. If you want to avoid overloading your current employees and therefore affecting morale in a negative way, recruitment is usually the most sensible decision. 

However, should you look to recruit externally or should you think about promoting a current employee and then looking at how to backfill their post?

The truth is that most employees have a plan of some kind when it comes to their career development. They might not be putting that plan into place yet, but they have a general idea of where they want to go. The issue is that opportunities are often rare.

If you want to hold on to highly trained staff, it’s a good idea to support them in their career development and that could mean offering promotions to existing staff, rather than automatically looking to recruit externally

Of course, there are major benefits to bringing fresh, new talent into an organisation, but in terms of morale, there are huge benefits to looking to promote. It’s a balance you need to strike fairly. 

Check out this infographic which outlines what an employee should do to gain a promotion. This is something managers can use as a guideline when thinking about who might be a good candidate for a promotion too. 

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A swinging door of new employees entering and leaving the office is never a good sign. It shows that you’re doing something wrong in terms of retaining staff. That’s something to be on the lookout for! However, promoting your existing staff to higher paid and more demanding roles shows that you’re valuing your employees and that you’re keen to give them a deserved helping hand in their career development. 

If you constantly recruit externally for every single role and never give your existing employees a chance, they’re quickly going to assume that you don’t feel they can meet the demands of a more challenging role. That does nothing for morale and could detrimentally affect productivity too. However, when you’re fair with your selection and you give people a chance, you show your employees that you’re on their side and that you want them to succeed. 

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